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Tesco searching my 12 year olds bag!

(72 Posts)
mumwithovertime Tue 19-Jul-11 17:45:27

just a quick question,my daughter got stopped leaving tesco after school with her large school bag and blazer over arm,the lady searched her bag and her blazer and finding nothing let her leave,problem I have is assuming that she is allowed to search a 12 year old surely as my daughter was completely innocent the least she deserved was an apology!it's the least I would expect if they did the same to me.

GypsyMoth Tue 19-Jul-11 17:46:31

was she a security guard?

DogsBestFriend Tue 19-Jul-11 17:48:50

I would also ask where this occurred - if in front of other customers in the store I wouldn't be at all happy.

And yes, damn right she deserved an apology, it's just courtsey. Age doesn't come into it.

mumwithovertime Tue 19-Jul-11 17:49:32

I believe she was or store detective I'm not sure if she said

kitbit Tue 19-Jul-11 17:51:01

You are not allowed to do this unless you're a police officer and have reasonable grounds to believe a theft has taken place. If it's a minor a parent or guardian should be present. Kick up a fuss.

MumblingRagDoll Tue 19-Jul-11 17:51:11

Well I don't like it. They can't detain a child can they?

DragonAlley Tue 19-Jul-11 17:52:43

They just searched her blazer and bag. They didn't strip search her. It is, unfortunately, a sign of the times.

An apology would have been nice but IMO it's no big deal.

AChickenCalledKorma Tue 19-Jul-11 17:53:14

Age discrimination? Unless they have a policy of doing random searches of people in all age groups?

I have no idea where you stand on this, but I still remember being shouted at by a supermarket assistant who reckoned "We've told you often enough that you lot are only allowed in here two at a time". I hadn't ever been in there before. Can only assume that they'd told some other random collection of teenagers from a totally different store. I only wanted a Mars Bar, so a basket seemed a little over the top. But apparently all people under 25 wearing school uniform are known shop-lifters hmm.

mumwithovertime Tue 19-Jul-11 17:56:56

To be honest I can forgive the search but if I make a mistake with my kids I say sorry,lack of manners/courtesy also a sign of the times.........luckily my kids do have decent manners and respect for others!

Maryz Tue 19-Jul-11 17:58:15

I remember being in Australia and you weren't allowed to take any bags into supermarkets, or if you did they were routinely searched on the way out.

I know that our local Spar loses a ridiculous amount of stock to teenage shoplifting, so I suppose if the Tesco is suffering from that it is sensible for children to know that they can be subject to a random search.

I don't know what the legalities are, though.

Avantia Tue 19-Jul-11 18:02:05

I would have hoped that the store detective / security guard had some grounds to seacrh your daughter and explained why she was doing it.

I would contact the store - not heavy handed but you understand why that they may have a problem with shoplifters but for future reference ask for their policy and in the interest of good customer service an apology would be good .smile

squeakytoy Tue 19-Jul-11 18:04:04

A large bag, and a blazer draped over it would be a red flag to many security guards..

Sadly shoplifting by teens is rife.. I see it happening almost daily at my local supermarkets, and they no longer allow unaccompanied children in school uniform to use many of the stores in this area..

I have been walking out of the store when the alarm has gone off, and have happily showed the guard the contents of my bag, as I have not stolen anything and accept that they need to check if they have any suspicions..

scurryfunge Tue 19-Jul-11 18:06:10

They have no power to search (but they can refuse her entry into the store). If they suspected her of theft then they should have called the police. I would be livid.

gingergaskell Tue 19-Jul-11 18:08:54

I'm Australian, so as Mary Z said searching a bag etc to me personally, wouldn't seem accusatory or insulting at all.
Shops regularly ask to check any bag that is not a shopping bag there in a supermarket, it wouldn't embarrass me at all to be asked.
I'm genuinely surprised that they don't do that here, and that it is seen as upsetting for your daughter!!

For example do you go to museums or sporting events or places like that? As you enter the building / venue a security guard will always view what is in your bag. I've encountered that plenty of times here. In that case it's checking what you take in obviously, but the premise is the same they are checking because anyone really could be breaking the rules. The same as in Tescos say, anyone really could be shop lifting.

I wouldn't view it as any different from that.
See what Tesco's policy is, my guess is that 'searching contents' is quite a different thing from 'detaining' re the need for a minor to have an adult present etc. smile

Grevling Tue 19-Jul-11 18:09:11

"I would have hoped that the store detective / security guard had some grounds to seacrh your daughter and explained why she was doing it."

Yes they were doing their job. Unfortunately over the years I've caught a number of people stealing and been asked to empty my pockets once or twice.

You can demand an apology and you'll get some pre printed tosh from the admin department and it won't change anything, they won't stop searching people, or you can forget it and move on with your life. It's really not worth the stress.

Marne Tue 19-Jul-11 18:10:38

I dont think they were in the wrong to search her but they deffently should have said 'sorry' when nothing was found.

scurryfunge Tue 19-Jul-11 18:11:26

Detaining someone because they believe they have committed an offence is very different from random searches on the way out of the store.

pink4ever Tue 19-Jul-11 18:14:41

Eh no security guards have no right to search you at all! The police can only do it if they have a very good reason. I would be furious and I would be on the phone to store manager immediately and also be sending a letter/email to the ceo.

squeakytoy Tue 19-Jul-11 18:16:34

A security guard has every right to ask you to show them the contents of your bag, and coat if they believe you may have been acting suspiciously.

Anyone with a large bag, covered by a coat over the arm WILL raise suspicion.

The guard has done nothing illegal.

scurryfunge Tue 19-Jul-11 18:24:36

squeakytoy -they can ask but they have no power to insist. They should call police. If they know an offence has been committed and that the person is responsible then they can detain someone but they do not have any powers because someone is acting suspiciously.

crazynanna Tue 19-Jul-11 18:26:52

I presume there was an appropriate adult present...if not,then it's a bit dodgy hmm

Avantia Tue 19-Jul-11 18:31:43

'they were doing their job ' is not an excuse to search someone - they (if allowed to do it ) must have explained why .

If I was asked by store detective to search my bags I would want to know why and what grounds , 12 yr old wouldn't usually ask.

Alot of places serach bags on entering - but that is differnt - its a condition of entry - so if you dont allow you dont go in.

But leaving a shop is different - if store dectective thought she had taken something - which she did otherwise she wouldn't have asked to search her bag then she should have explianed why she was being 'detained' , because you are being detained .

Avantia Tue 19-Jul-11 18:34:12

I dont think anyone is allowed to do random searches unless it is part of an employment contract -(lots of stores do this to there emplyees I beleive) which you consent to when you take the job or as a condition of entry as explained earlier .

PaperBank Tue 19-Jul-11 18:41:47

Complain to head office (number presumably on website). CCTV may show what happened.

BornInAfrica Tue 19-Jul-11 18:49:55

You're right scurry - they can ask but just as when an employer wants to search an employee's bag they have to ask and you have every right to refuse and ask for Police involvement. There has to be reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed and the security person should be able to say what and why.

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